How to Strap Two Kayaks to A Roof Rack


How to Strap Two Kayaks to A Roof Rack: Detailed Easy Guide

Kayaking is a fantastic way to spend time in the company of people you love. And if you are kayaking for some length of time you may already have taken it out onto the roof for the first time.

The problem becomes even more complicated with putting a second kayak in there. There are roofs that are able to accommodate two kayaks easily, the trick is understanding the procedure. It might make you nervous on your first try but we have the right to be.

Make sure your kayak is installed correctly on your roof rack. The kayak should be placed in a central position and run parallel with the car.

This article will explain the steps for safely and securely loading 2 kayaks to a car roof rack.

Strap Two Kayaks to A Roof Rack

So, Let’s Take a Look at How You Use Them Safely

Take your cam strap and position the buckle, so it’s resting on the side of your kayak and to the side of one of the crossbars. Then toss the other end of the strap over the kayak.

Walk around to the other side of your car, grab the strap and wrap it underneath the crossbar and chuck the strap back over. Make sure you wrap the strap to the inside of the bar so it can’t slip off.

Walk to the other side of the vehicle and wrap the strap back under the rear crossbar. Again, make sure it’s wrapped on the inside of the rear crossbar. Place the strap through the cam buckle and cinch it down.

Repeat this process on the other crossbar.

Go around and tighten all the straps. Make sure they are snuggly in place and not too tight. If the straps are too tight, you can deform the plastic on your kayak.

Tie off all the loose ends of the straps just below the buckles to prevent them from flapping around in the wind.

Go around the kayak and give it a shake to make sure everything is securely in place.

How to Strap Two Kayaks to A Roof Rack in Car

You may have taken your kayaks off your car before. You’ll need expertise. Is bringing mates on my kayak trip advisable?

It is possible that the decision to use only a vehicle can create problems. This is an excellent guide on how to strap two kayaks to a roof rack. The best thing to realize with a proper roof rack is that the kayak can easily carry two kayakers. It is helpful to know the proper way to hook up the kayak. We’ll see what they are. There are different positions that you can use on how to strap two kayaks to a roof rack.

Things you need to How to Strap Two Kayaks to A Roof Rack

When it comes to transferring kayaks, you shouldn’t expect to strap two kayaks to a roof rack without proper supplies. It is also possible that rope can do it – except that it must be tied to a truck hitch. Although the help of someone to load kayaks onto cars’ roofs isn’t necessary as a matter of fact depending on the load of the boat, it is definitely helpful. If you cannot install the racks on your vehicle and you need kayak racks for cars without rails, you can be safe. Please read the guidelines for transporting a kayak without racking the rudder, if necessary, for a safe and secure environment.


The roof rack is the foundation of transporting a kayak on your car roof. You’ll need a roof rack with two side rails and crossbars running between them. If you don’t have a factory-installed roof rack, you can buy an aftermarket one. There are many specialist dual kayak roof racks available on the market that come with everything you’ll need to transport kayaks on your car roof.


While the roof rack is the foundation, the accessories make the whole process easier. Two J-Hooks or a stacker can come in handy when you want to strap two kayaks to a car roof rack. Make sure to get the right accessories that are compatible with your roof rack.


Ratchet straps are the best option to tie down your kayaks to the roof rack. Make sure to get two sets of straps that are long enough and of different sizes. This will help you secure the kayak in the best way possible. Avoid using ropes, unless you know how to tie a trucker’s hitch.

Rope will do, too, but only if you know how to tie a trucker’s hitch. 

Different positions to load the kayaks

There are several ways to strap two kayaks to a roof rack. How do you keep it dry and keep water away from the cockpit?

Although it is possible to attach one or 2 straps, it is much safer to use two straps. It also uses the double-deck technique in which the kayak and its cockpit are mounted over one another with its cockpit facing each other. Use two straps for the best grip. There are some places where it is difficult to carry multiple kayaks. However, this is a parallel technique. There must be some friends that can help balance it up.

How to Strap Two Kayaks to A Roof Rack

It’s important to check that you put the buckles on the railing of your roof. Next, take the strap end and place it on the crossbar. It is recommended to install the securing strap on the front crossbar on your windshield. A second set of straps on the rear sidebar are located at the rear window.

Verify there has not been any tension on the straps. Next time we put our kayaks under a roof. Select the first stacking kayaks on roof rack. Sometimes the best kayak is found from different angles and positions.

Step By Step Guide – To Tie Two Kayaks On Roofrack

Step 1: Setting Up Straps

The first step is to pass one strap through the front crossbar and the other through the back crossbar. You should position them so that they are centered between the two, and then proceed from there. It is essential that the crossbar pair of straps at the front of the vehicle be positioned in such a way that they rest squarely on the center of the windshield.

Similarly, the straps at the back should be allowed to hang down the middle of the rear glass. This will ensure maximum security for your kayaks during transportation.

Step 2: Loading First Kayaks

To make space for the second kayak, you must put it over as far to one side as possible. Whether you choose to place it on the driver’s side or the passenger’s side is entirely up to you, but be sure to experiment with a few different locations until you find the one that works best.

Step 3: Strap Down Kayak No. 1 

Video Tutorial will guide you better

Step 4: Loading The Second Kayak

Keep enough space between two kayaks. Make sure they don’t rub each other.

You can also put some foam for better safety if there is very little space.

Step 5: Loosely Strap Up

Now Just tighten strap don’t tighten up straps all the way. Keep it loose for now until we get assurance for existing setup.

Step 6: Double-check the kayaks and straps

  • Before driving, double-check the kayaks and straps to ensure they are securely fastened.
  • Tug on each strap to ensure that it is tight and check that the kayaks are stable on the roof rack.
  • Check that the kayaks are not shifting or moving independently of each other during transit.

Step 7: Hit the road

  • With the kayaks securely fastened to the roof rack, you are ready to hit the road.
  • Drive slowly and cautiously, especially on bumpy roads, to avoid damaging the kayaks or the roof rack.
  • Make sure to periodically check the kayaks and straps during transit to ensure that they remain secure.

That’s it! By following these steps, you should be able to safely and securely fasten two kayaks to a roof rack for transport.

Understanding the procedure

When the kayak is mounted on the rear of a car, they are hung on top of the car and has a strap. Getting into an accident like this can be very frustrating. Instead, ensure the belts stay attached to the kayak one by one. You should also ensure that you wear the proper size. The use of too-large straps can complicate hoisting and securing both kayaks. The appropriate size strap should have at least two to three feet more length than required. In light kayaks of various shapes and sizes, the straps have to be varied in size and shape.

Key Insights & Takeaway

How should two kayaks be glued onto a roof shelf?

You can easily move two kayaks wherever you want by simply observing these guidelines. It’s not very different from strapping one kayak onto a roof; you simply have to check the gap between the kayaks. Remember to ensure the kayak’s safe operation before you move. Give them wobble tests to determine if it’s safe and the driver then stops at a stop sign for an extra 15 min to look at it.

Two common mistakes to avoid when strapping two kayaks to a roof rack

What mistakes can people make? I think we’d have better chances at eliminating them. It seems unbelievable that many paddle-boarding enthusiasts still use these same mistakes when placing the boat on the roof rack. Hopefully, this is breaking the cycle.

1. Before you get started strapping your kayaks to the roof rack, there are a few things you need to consider

  • Space Available On The Kayak: Depending on how big the roof rack is, you can fit your kayaks on top of your car. You’ll need a minimum of 24 inches.
  • Your Car’s Capacity: Every vehicle has a weight limit you need to consider before you stick your kayaks on top. Most can manage around 165lbs, including the roof rack, so you need to check out.
  • Check The Law & “Rules of The Road”: Local laws can defer in regards to overhang, securing loads, and kayak transportation. Make sure you’re 100% legal before transporting your kayak.
  • How Much Can Your Roof Rack Hold: Not all roof racks can hold the same capacity, so you need to make sure yours can handle the weight. You can always opt for a kayak roof rack to offer more security and ensure it can handle a second kayak. If you haven’t got the money for a new one, check out an aftermarket roof rack to save some cash.

2. Triple-Check The Kayaks

  • Once everything is sorted out, it’s time to get on the move.
  • Because if something is going to come loose, it’s probably going to happen while you’re driving, no matter how tight it was when you started.
  • Windy weather can play havoc on your kayaks, so pulling over to check will help you see if everything is still okay.
  • Walk around the car and give the kayaks a shake test to ensure the front and rear straps are still good to go. If everything is good, you can carry on your journey. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Stack 2 Kayaks On Top Of Each Other?

It has been known, and while many people think it’s safe to do so, I personally wouldn’t unless it’s my only option. That said, it’s not uncommon at all to see two or more kayaks stacked on top of each other.

What is the best way to strap two kayaks to a roof rack?

The best and most popular way to strap two kayaks to a roof rack is with four straps. Two straps for each kayak. The straps should be properly tied, and they should be strongly hooked under the hulls of the kayaks. It is not advised to use bungee cords. The hulls of the kayaks must be able to lie flat, and bungee cords may distort the shape of your kayak.

What type of straps should I use?

Triceps straps, adjustable-length straps, or prusiks work well. You can use one lock to secure each kayak together.

How tightly should I strap the kayaks?

The straps should be as tight as possible, but not so tight that the boats are wedged against the roof of your car. For two people, you will need four straps. Three straps go across the rears of the kayaks, and the other strap goes on the roof rack.

Is there any additional gear I should use to ensure the kayaks are secure?

If you are paddling on heavily trafficked water, you may want to consider taking a skeg (a small metal rod sticking out from the front of the kayak). A skeg will allow your kayak to cut through faster, but will also help to keep your kayak from flipping over. I recommend attaching your skeg with a bungee cord to the kayak, and then sliding the skeg in between the two kayak seats.

Are there any tips for ensuring that the kayaks are evenly distributed on the roof rack?

Yes, make sure that your kayaks are level and that they fit evenly between the roof rack bars. Also, make sure that you secure the kayaks in place so they won’t slide from side to side. You should secure the kayaks by putting straps around the roof bars. In addition, you should invest in kayak tie-down straps to prevent the kayaks from sliding off the roof rack.

Mercedes Lilienthal
Mercedes Lilienthal

I create award-winning content involving vehicular adventure travel, the automotive industry and the women within it. My husband and I own three right-hand-drive turbo-diesel 4x4 Mitsubishis: a Delica Space Gear and two Gen 2 Pajeros. We also own a subcompact daily driver. My freelance work includes writing, photography and PR/marketing services.

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